College Resilience in the Time of COVID

In the time since we’ve transitioned to remote learning to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’d like to share updates about the resilience and resourcefulness our college community has shown. Even in difficult times, there’s never been an opportunity to be more proud of the team that is the College of Business.

// Our Students

Our students are impacted in many ways by COVID-19. Since March, 258 students have reported that they’ve lost their jobs, and additionally, many family or support members also were impacted by job loss.

Even before the pandemic, a generous alumnus helped us establish the College of Business Student Emergency Fund, a resource for students facing a new, immediate and overwhelming challenge that threatened their studies.

Thanks to our emergency scholarship fund, we were able to supply nearly $200,000 in total emergency scholarships. Students can reach out to our college advising specialists from the Center for Advancing Financial Education, and we’ll get them connected to the most relevant resources for their situation.

Our alumni community proved to be here for us, immediately showing support with donations ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

// Our Future Students

With regard to our future students, undergraduate recruiting and marketing are pivoting to address the challenges and uncertainty confronting our newest pool of applicants. Traditional campus visits have shifted online to virtual tours, combined with online information sessions hosted by our recruiting team. In an effort to stay connected to our future students, direct mailings have increased with students receiving additional information about the College of Business directly to their mailbox. And to give students more time to make decisions, OSU shifted the deposit deadline to June 1. 

Our graduate programs also have extended deadlines, shifting the application deadline to June 30 for fall enrollment. We’ll promote our application fee waiver campaign in June as we focus on yield. We’ve increased our prospective student outreach with more regular info sessions and virtual application workshops, shifting our marketing efforts to broaden the target audience. We’re restructuring the spring class visits to now give prospects/applicants access to some key course material online and invite them to connect with student ambassadors who are enrolled in those classes.  

// Online Updates

The Career Success Center, interested in creating opportunities for our Ecampus students, began planning for the purposeful shift to a virtual career fair last fall. They procured the software, Virtual Career Fair, to manage the spring term two-day event. We’ve had more than 80 employers register and 1,800 students sign up to participate. These are the forward-thinking actions that make us leaders in our regional business network and well beyond.

Similarly, we’ve maintained engagement between students and our alumni, moving various meet-ups and seminars that took place in Austin Hall every term of the year to the online space. The first round of virtual meet-ups occurred mid-April. Each day brought in more than 20 of our alumni and industry friends to connect and encourage our students about how they are doing and what comes next. We’re grateful for this alumni support and for the hard work of the external engagement team that continues this essential networking for our students. 

// Social Updates

Continuing and Professional Education launched a series of webinars, designed to offer thought leadership and business continuity planning and advice to the community relative to the COVID pandemic. Primarily we’ve looked to provide good relevant content to support business, and created seven webinars to engage the community. Please have a look at our CPE offerings scheduled through the end of May, and share these events along your social channels to support this initiative when you see them advertised on our social networks.

//  Our Community

This is our beaver pride in action and our willingness, our resourcefulness and our innovation at work on solutions and so many other ways to help.

Professor Wu’s Supply Chain and Logistics Management Advisory Council is leading efforts to route donations of critical personal protective equipment from businesses throughout Oregon and Washington to organizations that work directly with healthcare providers. The initiative is managing supply and need for isopropyl alcohol, surgical masks, N95 medical masks, gowns and aprons, disinfecting wipes and other products for deliveries to our front line workers.

A coordinated effort with Marianne Dickson and her students in apparel design utilized safe, sanitized working stations in Milam’s apparel lab for three students to sew protective face coverings for essential workers on OSU campuses. Nine other students are working in their off-campus locations. The 1,000 face covering initiative, driven by our colleagues from across OSU, now looks to network with OSU Extension as the call for protective face covering usage in public expands.

And Chad Murphy, assistant professor of management, has leveraged his (not-so) secret life as the creative-mind behind Lord Birthday to raise funds among his 250,000 Instagram followers to make payments for people in need — groceries, a phone bill, a prescription, part of the rent. 

And as a reminder, there has never been a more opportune moment to support the College of Business’ social networks. As all eyes are turning to the digital spaces to conduct business and maintain connections, we need to be sure to share the news of our successes and these innovative opportunities we continue to offer. Please join and follow these channels.Thank you, all and again, for the great work and the beaver pride and everything you do on behalf of the College of Business.

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